Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Posted October 9, 2012
Category Company News
The J.W. Allen family is continuing to have their customer’s best interest at heart. In the end, no matter the size or value of your shipment, we strive to have a satisfied customer.

Whenever possible we utilize Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) technology, enabling us to electronically communicate and process shipment bookings and/or bills of lading with ocean carriers. As the process is completely computer driven no faxing or mailing of information is required. EDI is essentially a computer to computer exchange of documents between companies with this capability.

As technology has proven, we live in a world in which doing something by hand is quickly becoming non-existent. For example, our export department usually sends the shipper’s letter of instructions, which essentially becomes the bill of lading, via email to the steamship line. In turn, the steamship line has a clerk that manually inputs the information into their computer system and sends back a draft copy of the bill of lading that we review for accuracy.

By employing EDI technology when we transmit the shipper’s letter of instructions to the ocean carrier, the data is electronically downloaded directly into the carrier’s computer system. Upon completion of the EDI transmittal process, the carrier will have automatically accepted the bill of lading instructions only contacting J.W. Allen & Co. if more information is needed essentially omitting the extra time spent making sure the carrier follows our instructions. Once something is submitted, our instructions are in the carrier’s database and no errors will be made by a third party. The big picture is accuracy to ensure we are giving our customer’s the best service possibly.

Using EDI offers numerous advantages:

• Ensure data integrity by eliminating manual typing errors with all transactions subject to data
validations
• Improved internal efficiencies equals improved customer service
• Increased visibility to better manage the shipping initiation and monitoring process

I just wanted to take this opportunity to make you aware of our continuing efforts to provide the best service possible. Rest assured, we’re working hard today preparing for tomorrow.

Heather McGlocklin
Export Customer Service Rep.

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